Seeking Eastern Canada riding advice

Discussion in 'Canada' started by Infracaninophile, Apr 29, 2004.

  1. pilot

    pilot ...

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2002
    Oddometer:
    35,912
    Location:
    Right here
    I went to Ft. Louisburg on Cape Breton. (I think) It is a French fort that has been restored and has people in period costume that work there. Quite interesting.

    At Meat Cove, the wind was up and fierce. It destroyed my tent that night and I didn't get any sleep. The view was worth it, though.

    As for taking a ferry back, I only took one day to ride from the border of NS/New Brunswick to north west of Portsmith, New Hampshire. Long day, I will admit, but I was in a hurry to get there. I missed seeing much of Maine in the process. I may go back to Maine after Cro-Mag's campout in September.

    If you can ride around the Gaspe, I would vote for that. I really liked it.

    Have fun and take pics. Post them here.
    #21
  2. Kaumajet

    Kaumajet H.I.D. Positive

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2003
    Oddometer:
    10,143
    Location:
    Delete this profile
    #1 - you can cross the St Lawrence to the east side by road at Montréal, Trois Rivières, and Québec. Past Québec, there are several ferries that run every hour or so. Usually no wait for bikes. St-Siméon to Rivière du Loup gets you some nice riding past Q-City, and bypasses the boring part on the wast side between Q-City and Riv du Loup.

    #2 - You shouldn't need to book in advance for these ferries, but they are expensive. Not much longer to run Digby NS to Saint John NB on the ferry, then down to St Andrews NB into Maine. Plus you get to ride the Anapolis Valley.

    #3 - Gas varies, like it does in the US. Nowadays, it's around $0.85 to 0.095 per litre for premium on average, which when converted, runs US$2.30 to $2.80 per US gallon.

    #4 - I've had trouble getting hotels in eastern Canada from time to time, but you should be OK in early June, as the tourist season is not yet in full swing. Don't try pulling into a motel on the Cabot Trail in mid-July at 8PM and expect to get a room.

    #5 - Yes, 100 - 110 km/h for major roads. Under 120 you usually won't be bothered.

    If you're passing through Ottawa, lemme know. I have food, booze, bed, trailer, tools, etc. I won't be around after 01 July, as I'll be on the road from then until the end of Sept.

    Cheers,

    BV
    #22
  3. Riteris

    Riteris Dessert Runner

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2002
    Oddometer:
    5,556
    Location:
    A place many ADV Riders fear: The Nation's Capital
    I disagree on spending time in the old part of Quebec City. I know it is an historically certified city but it is like going to Disneyland. I suggest that if you have limited time and want to visit cities in Canada, Ottawa, Montreal and Toronto are far more interesting.
    #23
  4. Global Rider

    Global Rider Alps Adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2001
    Oddometer:
    3,956
    Location:
    Canada & the Alps - N 46° 31.714' E 010° 27.212'
    If you will be driving on the north shore of the St. Lawrence river (you did mention that you might take the ferry to/from Baie Comeau), the ferry at Tadoussac on highway 138 is free and runs every 15 or so minutes. The ferry takes you across the Saguenay river.

    Cabot Trail accomodations: book a day ahead in the busy season.
    #24
  5. kelsow

    kelsow Long timer

    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2004
    Oddometer:
    1,118
    Location:
    Halifax Nova Scotia
    As far as #3 goes the price is a bit more than you guys get to pay,
    Lucky btrds. It's 86.9c/litre for regular and about 93c/litre for premium.

    Not quite sure how to do the math with the exchange vs gallon vs imperial gallon. I think it's about $2 something/us gallon.
    #25
  6. Infracaninophile

    Infracaninophile Finding My Way..

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2001
    Oddometer:
    7,531
    Location:
    Rhode Island, USA
    After sourcing some more details maps of NE Canada, NS, etc.. I've got a few more questions:

    1. Is there any specific reason to go to PEI? The maps show that it is highly populated with lots of roads. Doesn't look to be special there to see. However, would like some first hand opinions.

    2. Gapse area: A few have commented that it's nice. However, is it nice enough to spend the roughly 2 days it would take to do the peninsula and then move my way down to NS?

    3. How many days should I allow for Cape Bretton Island? Should I plan 1-2 days of base-camping out of a small town up north and just doing day rides? If so, any recommendation on towns or places?

    4. Meat Cove? Wow, it's in the middle of no-where. What's to see/do there?

    5. I'd like to do an oil change in say, NB or NS. Any BMW or independent dealers where I could drop in on short notice and get my oil changed? How about purchasing a MC tire (like Tourances or Gripsters) in case I need one in that area? Or, Maine?

    Still trying to decide whether to ride my 03 Adventure (probably) or do a trial run on my 93 PD I just got. The Adventure is more fun on highspeed LD stuff but the PD helps me slow the pace down and makes me SEE more. The only downside to the PD is that I need to ride back from MA all the way to CO in 2 days. The Adventure is the right tool for that. The rest of the time the PD is more of the "lazy touring" bike.

    < 4 weeks to go and I'm outta work and on the road.

    Tom
    #26
  7. Jabba

    Jabba "HOLD THE LIGHT!!!"

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2002
    Oddometer:
    13,042
    Location:
    Just east of the Pine Beatle- Evergreen, CO
    PEI is mostly farms, from what I've been told... the bridge over is supposed to be absolutely spectacular, however. Gaspe is reported to be an absolute jewel- my brother did it a few years ago and raved about it. Very lonely place- and the Chic Choc mountains are some of the highest in the Northeast- not that you'll be impressed by big mountains on this trip~ But the wilderness up there is worth the trip-
    2 or 3 days for Cape Breton is about right- unless you plan to do the hangin' and relaxin' thing you mentionned earlier in the thread. Meat Cove is worth the detour off the Cabot Trail (not far- and the restaurant at the turnout is pretty good, too!) simply because it is a unique, picturesque and eerily Brittish Isles looking place... You'll feel as though you crossed the Atlantic while you're there- but it's not a place where you're gonna find a lot of shopping malls or cinemas! :lol3 It's a snapshot of life on the North Atlantic- and I guarantee you'll never forget the place- it's got some character! The Cabot is basically a circumnavigation of the island- and you're going to want to do the whole thing- There's some nice dirt riding up around the Margaree valley on dirt roads- and the river and the river valley are really beautiful.
    There's a BMW dealer in St. John, NB- and the owner and his wife are (were) active BMW rally goers- very friendly folks. St. John is nothing to write home about- basically a big, older city in the middle of no place. As to your bike selection- it's not gonna make much difference while you're up there- either would be perfectly suited to the trip. I've OFTEN been deluged with rain for an entire trip- and the bugs can be pretty horrendous too- so go with the one that gives you the best wind protection... it could make a big difference in your comfort if it rains day after day after day as it is prone to do. I coasted into the lone gas (Irving) station along one stretch of the road from NB to NS- there's some lengthy stretches of NOTHING up there- that's for sure. Careful if you decide to push on past a gas station- you may not get another chance for a while. Sure- this isn't Alaska- but it's pretty wild for just a long days' ride north of Boston!
    #27
  8. Infracaninophile

    Infracaninophile Finding My Way..

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2001
    Oddometer:
    7,531
    Location:
    Rhode Island, USA
    Lots more good info. Thanks. Well, out in the west you don't allow a lot of gas stations to pass you by as well. At least not out in the rural parts. That's one of the reasons I like bikes with big gas tanks.

    Rain: I hate riding in the rain. I'll take a rest/explore on foot day if I can if it rains. Especially cold rain.

    BTW, I lived most of my life in Maryland before moving out here with my wife in 92. My parents lived just outside Annapolis and I live downtown on Prince George St for a few years while attend UM. Was back there last labor day (no bike) and took a nice sunset sailboat cruise one evening. Very nice. It sure is an expensive place to live though.

    Tv.
    #28
  9. Jabba

    Jabba "HOLD THE LIGHT!!!"

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2002
    Oddometer:
    13,042
    Location:
    Just east of the Pine Beatle- Evergreen, CO
    You probably sailed by the house- I live on the Severn, about 5 miles upriver from the Academy... Crownsville, Md. Rediculously expensive to live here- but a good place to do business and convenient to NYC, New England, Philly- and the entire south. I'm stuck here for a little longer- then I'm headed your way.
    #29
  10. scratchypants

    scratchypants Loathes the impolite

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2003
    Oddometer:
    2,126
    Location:
    Quebec
    Plaster Rock to Renous on the 108 by any chance? 85 miles of nothing but moose crossing signs. A popular short cut to get to NS, if you're willing to forego the Gaspe scenery.
    #30
  11. Kaumajet

    Kaumajet H.I.D. Positive

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2003
    Oddometer:
    10,143
    Location:
    Delete this profile
    Jabba got it right. Here are some more thoughts:

    1. At the risk of offending anyone from PEI, there really isn't much to see, other than the bridge, if you're into that sort of thing. The roads are small, and frustratingly slow. It can take you two hours to go 10 miles. Flat, red and boring for a motorcyclist.

    2. Gaspé is nice, and probably worth the two days. The road through the Chic Chocs is worth doing as well, as the big green man said.

    3+4. The Cabot Trail is the best of what Cape Breton has to offer, and it's a very nice ride. There are some nice, slow rides in the south of the island as well. Two days is good for the Trail, and maybe have another 1 or 2 exploring the other areas. Meat Cove? NIce view of the Gulf of St. Lawrence and you can see St. Paul Island on a good day, otherwise, just another tiny road to nowhere (which is not a bad thing). Worth doing, just to say you did it.

    5. The BMW dealer in Halifax is very small. I've had trouble getting basic service there on any notice. Made an appointment a week in advance for a 10K on my 2K GS and arrived to find out 'the' mechanic was sick. Better to find an AdvRider who'll let you use their garage. You're welcome in mine. Tires may also be a problem - better call ahead. I have no experience with the Saint John guys.

    Free advice - take the Adventure. The road, not the bike, will dictate most of your touring speed. If you need to sprint to make time, the Adventure will be up to it.
    #31
  12. Thisguy

    Thisguy Hold Fast

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2004
    Oddometer:
    2,349
    Location:
    Socialist Republic of Maryland
    I was thinking about taking a trip up to NS and stay in Sydney. I am looking at the Cabot Trail. How long is the loop. My map shows around 260 miles. Is it possible to do the loop in one day, or are the speeds on roads too slow. I am not looking to go off the pavement. I am really looking to spend 2 days in Canada before heading home. Thanks
    #32
  13. Global Rider

    Global Rider Alps Adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2001
    Oddometer:
    3,956
    Location:
    Canada & the Alps - N 46° 31.714' E 010° 27.212'
    The actual Cabot Trail is 280 kilometers or about 175 miles. Taking your time, you can go around easily in a day. You might have added in mileage from Port Hawkesbury.

    If you only have time to do it once, do it counterclockwise. If you have more time, do it both ways.

    I have a few photos of the Cabot Trail up on my 2003 Eastern Canada Tour. See my web site. I was blessed with great weather. I hope you are too.
    #33